Ossining, NY – State Assemblywoman Dana Levenberg has released the following statement commenting on last night’s Decommissioning Oversight Board meeting and a protest outside of her office this morning:
“I care deeply about all of my constituents, including our local workforce. I have been hearing concerns from three labor unions who are fearful of possible layoffs during the decommissioning of Indian Point. Because I am very concerned about local jobs, I asked multiple questions about the labor implications of different radioactive waste management options during last night’s Decommissioning Oversight Board meeting. I heard repeatedly that there is plenty of work to be done at various points during the decommissioning process. If this is the case, why are workers being told that their jobs are at stake if A7208 passes? This appears to be an attempt to enlist labor in an effort to stifle public discussion of our options.
As an elected representative, it is my job to ensure that the public’s interest is represented in decision-making. The optics of last night’s meeting, in which people in branded t-shirts took up most of the seats available before the rest of the public was allowed to enter, are already undermining public confidence in the decommissioning process. It gives the impression that the pro-discharge forces are not open to a robust public discussion. If they are confident that the science and evidence unequivocally supports the safety of discharging the water, they should want skeptical members of the public to be able to come in and hear it and be convinced.
We cannot move forward without the public’s trust in this process. Public perception of a polluted, hazardous river will undermine our local economy in various ways, harming property values, business interests, and much more. We must ensure that the public is meaningfully engaged in an honest discussion of our options as we proceed with decommissioning, and that no one is being coerced or misled to participate in a particular way. Human ingenuity is endless, and we can find win-win solutions when we invite more voices into the conversation.”